By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
AN act of bravery by neighbours may well have saved a Boyne Island house from being destroyed by fire yesterday.
A retired couple left their Tarcoola Drive home just minutes before it was engulfed in flames, with early investigations pointing to a television as the cause.
"We just left 10 minutes before, so it was lucky,'' said owner Laing McClelland at the scene.
Mr McClelland and his wife Joan said their neighbours had showed tremendous courage in going into their home to fight the fire before fire crews arrived.
"All the neighbours hopped in to try and give a hand,'' Mr McClelland said.
Mr and Mrs McClelland were shaken but thankful no one had been hurt in the incident.
Neighbours Megan and William Steudler raised the alarm after hearing the force of the fire destroying their neighbour's home.
"I heard the window shatter and looked outside and there was a lot of smoke,'' Mrs Steudler said.
From there the good samaritans risked their own safety, going into the house to rescue its owners.
"We busted in the door and started searching the place for people,'' Mr Steudler said.
"But there was no one in there so we got garden hoses and started putting out the fire.''
"People came from everywhere to give a hand, all the neighbours were there to help.''
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) of- ficer Barry Maluga said initial investigations had shown that the fire had started after the television was left on standby.
"People need to realise they can't turn off the TV with the remote and leave it on standby,'' he said.
"Your TV is actually still going, the screen is just off and a small spark can set it off.''
QFRS officer Peter Knight said when fire services arrived a neighbour was on the veranda putting out the fire.
Fire officers said while it was a brave act, they did not recommend people going into a burning house to put out a fire.